REAR WINDOW

rear window

Sometimes I feel like Jimmy Stewart in “Rear Window”.  I don’t have a broken leg, just an annoying back and hip.  And I haven’t witnessed a murder….yet.  Anything is possible.

More to the point is the fact that I sit in my comfy chair in my office where I have a window, which on many days is my only outside view of the world.  While I work from home or watch TV I can see the kids go by on their bikes, golf carts, dirt bikes etc.  I see the dog walkers and the joggers, especially on the weekends when the neighborhood fills to the brim.  I see my family, walking to the boat to go for an enjoyable ride around the lakes.  I see LIFE, passing me by.

Sometimes I make up stories as the what the people are doing or where they are going.

The lazy unemployed son who lives across the street?  Drug dealer.  Sells anything you want.  Weed, edibles, vapes, pills.  Also arms dealer.  Has a display of guns in his living room.  Will sell to anyone, including his own son.  Except, well, the son is in jail now.  Drug and weapons charges.

The elderly couple who lives across the street.  Spends most of their days in their garden, which has a tall fence around around it.  They say it’s to keep out the varmints.  They NEVER invite anyone over.  I think they are growing the weed for the other neighbor.

The widower across the way.  I was friends with his wife.  When I walked my dogs late at night,  she would be out by the garage, sneaking a smoke.  She is dead now.  I saw her one day, and she was gone the next.  Never see the widower anymore, seems like he is hiding out in his house.

The Italian conclave that lives on the channel, takes up the whole one side of the turnaround street.  4 houses in a row.  I watch the cars start arriving on Thursday nights, and leaving on Sunday nights.  You don’t go down that street on the weekends.  It seems to have been taken over by the “younger” generation.  I haven’t seen the older folks in a couple of years.  They might be sleeping with the fishes.

The entertainment center of the neighborhood is on the corner, where the two streets split.  Many activities center on that property.  Dogs run, kids play and screech, adults drink beer, basketball is played, swimming is done by all on a hot summer day, all led by the neighborhood Pied Piper.  When evening falls, all signs of life disappear, tucked away in houses and garages, waiting to come back again, under the magical spell of the Pied Piper.  (Who resembles my brother but I’ll never tell!)

Then there are the mystery people, who visit my house when it rains.  I think the rain makes them grow.  They sneak in and out while I am sleeping, leaving only wet footprints behind.  I think I might know them, but I’m not sure.  Every now and then when I think I am dreaming, I hear a little girl’s voice, that sounds just like my niece.   I need to set up some cameras.

Hopefully my window on the world will expand soon.  I am feeling much better, and hope to be getting out and about a lot more!  I have a GREAT massage therapist and physical therapist, so I will be rocking!

P.S.  I almost wish I had a murder mystery to solve, I am great detective!  Jimmy Stewart goes a little overboard at times tho, lol.  Great film.  Everyone should see it.

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt….

I don’t even want to post a picture about this subject.  I don’t even really want to post about this subject.  I don’t even want to THINK about this subject.  However, this has really been bothering me for a long time, and writing about it is what I do to express those feelings.

Today was the second time in the past few days I have the seen the previews for Fast and Furious 7.  Starring Paul Walker.  At least in the first part of the film.  Paul Walker was killed during a break in filming, in a horrific fiery car crash in a Porsche driven by his friend and partner.  They went for a spin, a joyride, at a high rate of speed.  They ended up wrapped around a tree.  Paul was 40 years old.

So why does this bother me so much?  A couple of reasons.  First, the way he died.  Fast and furious.  Live fast, die young, right?  Tell that to his family, his daughter.  My great niece lost her father in a car crash too.  It was very tragic too, had some similarities.  He was only 25.  So I guess I am more sensitive.

**********************************************************************************************

What I am going to say next might not sit well with some people, so you can stop reading here if you want.

***********************************************************************************************

Someone posted a video online that they had taken of the scene.  They were in car across the street and saw everything.  The video is very disturbing.  The car exploded into a huge fireball after it hit the tree.  They were filming the whole thing, and they started to exclaim that they could see someone from the passenger side flailing and trying to escape the flames.  I swear to God that I re-watched that video many times and saw the same thing.  I saw it before they even said they saw it, so it was not the power of suggestion.  I could hardly breathe, watching it.  I kept thinking he was going to get away.  But of course he didn’t.  It most likely wasn’t him.  Investigative reports have claimed it was a piece of the hood, not a person.  Autopsy reports say the driver died immediately, and Paul seconds later.  Traumatic and “thermal” injuries.  What a horrible way to die.

So ok, Paul Walker died in a fiery car crash.  We all know that.  So why am I still bothered by it?

I think because of the movie.  These Fast and Furious movies are fun entertainment, the stunts are incredible, they drive fast and live hard.  Of course there are a lot of car crashes etc.

But it’s a movie.  People get killed in movies all the time.  It’s not real.  Do we even give a second thought to all the carnage left behind in some movies?  No, not really.  At least I don’t.  Unless it is specifically a movie about someone dying that pulls at our heart strings, like The Fault in our Stars, Terms of Endearment, that kind of stuff.  Or a dog.  Please don’t kill the dog.  Just ask anyone.

However, in this case it is life imitating art.  The real person dies, just like people in the movies, driving fast and furious.  So my question is……do we go on?  Continue with the movie?  Release the movie, which is the kind of movie that might encourage young people to….oh I don’t know….drive fast and furious?  Which may endanger their own lives?  Their REAL lives?

I know people will say, it’s just a movie.  But what are we saying by showing this movie, after his death?  Every time I see his face on screen, driving fast and furious, I can only think of how he died..  It has ruined every Fast and Furious movie for me.

What do YOU think?  I would love to hear your opinion on this.

What if

interview

What if Sony releases the movie The Interview, and theatres are bombed?

What if people are killed, maimed, injured?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Boston Marathon?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Colorado theatre?

What if we knew in advance that planes were going to take down the Twin Towers?

What if we knew ISIS was going to behead journalists?

What if we negotiated with terrorists?

What if the Rules of Engagement were changed and Lone Survivor could have been Multiple Survivors?

A lot of “what ifs”.  In the business world, what if scenarios are used all the time, to see the end result of changing certain parameters.  It gives management a tool to choose what path they want to go.

The United States has a very strict policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

“In a speech today (sic Nov 17, 2014) defending the U.S. war against the Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that paying ransoms could endanger more Americans.

“And as for kidnapping, the United States has set a heart-rending but absolutely necessary example by refusing to pay ransom for captured Americans. Last year the U.N. Security Council and the G8 firmly endorsed an identical policy, and all of the evidence shows that where and if a country is paid a ransom, there are many more people who are taken hostage,” Kerry said.”

I was surprised today to hear that George Clooney has taken a hard stand against North Korea, and all that it foretells.  He attempted to have high level executive sign a petition to stand behind Sony and release the picture.  Not one person would sign it.  Clooney was upset by that, and stated “I don’t know what the answer is, but what happened here is part of a much larger deal,” Clooney said. “A huge deal. And people are still talking about dumb emails.  Understand what is going on right now, because the world just changed on your watch, and you weren’t even paying attention.”  The actor added, “We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f—king people.”

I have to say that personally, when I saw the trailers for The Interview, and watched Rogen and Franco on the talk shows, my first thought was “wow, that’s really going to piss off North Korea.”  But I never thought they would take it this far.

So.  What would YOU do, if you knew in advance a set of circumstances?  Would you change the policies of the country?  Would you just hide in your homes?  Would you try to effect change?

Or would you watch Homeland on Showtime and wonder if all this kind of shit happens EVERY STINKING DAY in this world.  And be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I would love to hear your opinions on this.  This is a big deal, in my book.

Unbroken

unbroken1Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, who started life out as a young troublemaker, and ended up as a war hero.

The book, which I just finished, and the movie, which I can’t wait to see, is a story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption according to the author, Laura Hillenbrand.  It is non-fiction.  A true story.  One that will make you laugh, cry and renew your American pride and spirit.

It is amazing.  A page burner.  I ate up every word, and was never full.  I always wanted more.  I fell asleep to this book every night for the past week, as it is almost 500 pages long, and not a word skipper, as some easier reads are.

He was an Olympic athlete, a long distance runner.  If it hadn’t been for the war, he probably would have broken the 4 minute mile.

unbroken2Just one more thing the war took from him.  But his training probably kept him alive.  That and luck.

unbroken3

While in his POW camps, he was brutually beaten, in both body and mind, by a sadistic man, who I think caused him more pain after the war than during it.

unbroken4 bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could go on and on about the book, and Louis Zamperini, but the biggest thing I got out of this book was a new appreciation for all that our soldiers have gone through for us.  World War II was a brutal war.  About half way through the book, I started thinking of my father, and almost replaced Louis with my dad in my mind.

My dad was not a POW, but he was on a ship, the U.S.S. Boston.  He never spoke to us kids about his war experience, and now I know why.  Even though he was not a POW, being in WW II was no picnic.  He did talk a bit about his experience during Typhoon Cobra to my older cousins.  It sounded very frightening, and he said he was lucky enough to have the top bunk (6 high) so he didn’t get vomited on.  There is a book about the U.S.S. Boston called Baked Beans that I might get that details many of the ship’s experiences.  I do know my dad talked about being anchored in Tokyo Harbor after the atomic bombs for the signing of the Japanese surrender.  In fact my grandma always said his lung cancer was caused by the radiation he was most likely exposed to.  A marine commander and his men from the ship were on the ground hours after the bombs were dropped.

So I did feel there was an affinity between the two men, who were in the same war, in the same area of the world, at the same time.  They were both in typhoons, and both witnessed the end of the war.

Louis Zamperini had many demons to deal with after the war.  I’m sure my dad did too, in his own way . I wish I could talk to my dad now, after understanding a bit more about the atrocities of war.

Tonight I’ll have to star gaze, and find his.

 

 

My take on the Oscars

Jlaw

Ok. let’s start at the beginning.  Jennifer Lawrence ( J Law) tripped AGAIN.  But she did it early in the day, getting out of her limo, so she started things off right.

The red carpet was its usual glam fest, asking people who are they wearing.  There were definitely some hits and misses, but I am not a fashion queen.  I think everybody looked wonderful.  I thought Kate Hudson looked stunning, and also Lupita Nyong’o (more on them later).

So, just a few comments on what stood out to me.

Ellen, you did a good job, as we knew you would.  Couple of jokes in the intro fell flat (“Sir” Liza Minelli), but for the most part they were well received.  Your interaction with the audience was stellar.  You brought down Twitter with your celebrity picture, so kudos to you!  Most retweeted photo ever!

On to the awards.  Not sure why they start out with one important one, and then fill the majority of time with awards that are not of interest to most of us, leaving the best awards for the end when the show has run out of time and most people want to go to bed.  But all the awards are important I guess.

Best Supporting Actor is the first award, which goes to…..Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club!  He gave a wonderful speech and in my opinion, well, look for yourself…

jaredjesus

One step closer to Jesus!

Kim Novak, wth, why do people insist on plastic surgery?  You are a beautiful woman, age gracefully!  Not with the tell tale marionette lines!

kimnovak

 

 

 

 

kim2

 

 

 

 

 

John Travolta, wtf?  Horrible hair piece, and please, learn the name of the person you are introducing.  One name, that’s all you needed to know.

Kate Hudson looked so awesome when she came out to present.  I wish she would give Goldie some tips on how to do her hair and makeup.  She looked like an aging prom queen.  But then again, don’t we all?  Sigh.

So many great actors, so many great movies this year.  Truthfully, I was torn on who should win.  I would have been happy with any of them.

In the beginning it looked like Gravity was cleaning up.  But towards the end the tide turned, and other movies started winning the important Oscars.

Cate Blanchet’s speech was great, but I’m sure everybody noticed the lack of clapping when she mentioned Woody Allen’s name.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I loved Matthew McConaughey’s win.  When I saw him in Dallas Buyers Club, he really freaked me out, he and Jared were like skeletons.  So not only was his acting great, he really had to suffer to lose that weight beforehand.  40 pounds for someone who is not overweight to begin with is very difficult to lose!  I loved his speech, and was happy he threw in his trademark “alright alright alright!”.  However, I guess people in the LBGT community were upset he said nothing about AIDS.

And the grand prize Best Picture goes to……12 Years a Slave!!!!!!!

clap

All the movies were so great (well most of them) and I saw most of them and loved them all.

None of the big winners were any shock to me, in fact they were predicted fairly well.  I am happy for all the winners, and the nominees.  Even if you don’t win, you will always be introduced as “Oscar nominated” or “Academy Award nominated” actor or actress.  So it’s a win/win situation.

Congratulations to everyone!

Quick Hunger Games review

4 out of 5 stars, I think it was a bit sterilized to give it the PG13 rating. It held my attention every second, but I think it glossed over the really nitty gritty details of how awful it really was to be in that arena, kids killing kids. I know there is a time limit with movies obviously, but I felt it was a bit too “neat and tidy” a package, not truly the book that Suzanne Collins wrote. But, overall I thought it was wonderful, and can’t wait for the next installment! I would LOVE to see your comments here on what you thought, and your ranking of the movie. Have a great weekend!

“One Day” I’ll have that kind of kiss

 A new movie called “One Day” will be hitting the theatres tomorrow.  I can’t wait.  If there was a midnight showing, I would be there.  I am breathless with anticipation, for a multitude of reasons.

First and foremost, it has two of my favorite actors, Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess (see my Top Ten Men blog!).  The chemistry between them is palpable.

Second, the storyline has captured my attention and my heart.  Two people who are best friends for many years, and “one day” find their true love was standing right in front of them all the time.

Third, and most important, it has the best onscreen kiss I have EVER seen.  None of that teenage Twilight MTV Best Kiss Award kind of kiss.  It takes place on a public street corner, not in a romantic bedroom scene. This unexpected kiss literally draws you in, and every second increases in intensity and passion.  It is the kind of kiss that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.  I have experienced many good kisses in my day, but this one makes me yearn for something that is just out of my reach, and I may never experience it.  It makes me sad, and it makes me cry.  It makes me have vague dreams of someone or something that I want so badly but cannot have, and I chase it in my dreams, but alas, I always wake up before I catch it.

 I have watched the trailer of that kiss multiple times, because I don’t want to be a sobbing fool in the movie theatre watching it.  I don’t think it will matter tho.  I will be a puddle throughout the whole movie.

I will let you know how it goes after the weekend.  If I can stop crying and dreaming long enough.